As a Clevelander, I’ve experienced more than my fair share of winters but it’s a different ball game in Chicago (pun intended). It’s colder, windier and has felt like an eternity. My roommate Meg now understands seasonal depression and asked me why people voluntarily live in cold climates (she’s from Florida). I didn’t have a good answer for her because I too am questioning the sanity in it. People here won’t shut up about “Chicago summers,” so I’m powering through and I think it might be coming to an end. Maybe? Please.
Baseball happens in the summer and we all know I love that. Having two baseball teams to see, one being in my favorite ballpark, makes me believe “Chicago summers” will live up to its hype. To get the ball rolling, last week I attended a soft opening of the new 1914 Club at Wrigley Field. My friend Kristal knows someone who works for the Cubs and she was kind enough to extend an invite to me. Tangent, her friend is a total bada** and I’m really glad there are women like her leading the way in the sports field. Anyways, click the link, check the place out- it was gorgeous. We ate all the food and drank their drinks, which are made with only the finest Jim Beam products. As Beam girls, we were super proud of our brand becoming the official sponsor of the Cubs last year.
While at the soft opening, I ran into an old contact that also works for the team and said hi, doubting he would remember me from 2014. After refreshing his memory, we caught up and had a wonderful baseball conversation. It’s always fun to fangirl over a sport with someone who loves it just as much as you! He later asked me if I was attending Opening Day and offered tickets to Kristal and me. I had planned on going if the weather wasn’t horrible, hitting up either SeatGeek or Gametime App that morning, but will never turn down a gift.
Well we all know how Monday went, Mother Nature said, “no baseball for you” and snowed the Cubs Opener out. I was bummed at first, thinking I wouldn’t be able to go the following day because of work, but Meg stepped in like a champ and covered my shift. She’s the best coworker/roommate a girl can ask for… the real MVP. Tuesday the weather was like a thousand times better- no snow, the sun was kinda out, and the wind was not brutal. It was basically summer in comparison.
I didn’t get that crazy, I still wore layers, gloves, and my winter coat which I think I have worn every day since I moved here in November. Getting my money’s worth fo sho. When I arrived at the ballpark (via the 22 bus), I was amazed to see people without jackets, just relying on hoodies and jerseys to stay warm. God Bless! I picked up our tickets at the Cubs office and wow that place has been upgraded. Absolutely beautiful and I only saw the lobby.
Our seats were in the bleachers and I was pretty excited about the experience as I’ve never sat in the bleachers at Wrigley, but I’ve heard the hype. Kristal and I didn’t realize there’s a special gate for us and ended up standing in two lines before finding the correct entrance. It’s not rocket science for most people… the back of the park by the Harry Carey statue. We made our way up the ramp and to the left field porch to watch the Opening Day festivities. They must have gone faster than expected through the ceremony because the scheduled flyover following the National Anthem was delayed by a couple minutes. It was funny because a subway car came by and people (us included) got excited thinking it was the planes and then after they realized it wasn’t the planes, we turned back around and then boom, the jets went right over us. Couldn’t capture it for social media. 😦
Another thing we didn’t realize about the bleachers is they are general admission. It says it on the ticket but I thought we were just on the porch. Kristal looked it up and we decided to snag some seats under the scoreboard in center field. It was a late arriving crowd, so we got some good seats low and in the middle. Since they’re GA, you need to make sure one person always stays to hold them as they don’t honor seat check here. The people around us fluctuated the entire game. We left one at a time to go to the bathroom which is a little adventure. You have to go all the way back down and I’m fairly certain there’s only one, so plan accordingly. We also got Chicago dogs because what’s a Cubs game without one?
The game didn’t go the Cubs way though it did get pretty interesting in the bottom of the 8th when Javier Baez had a chance to tie it up with a homer. It was asking a lot out of him as he already hit two. That elusive third homer in a game by one player… someday I’ll see it. That’s why you have to go to so many baseball games, there’s a lot of different plays, feats, stats to see… am I right???
After the game ended we left Wrigley reluctantly- the seagulls were descending and kicking us out. It was almost a perfect day and I am so thankful to my friend from the team for giving us tickets, enabling us to have a wonderful day at the ballpark. Whether your team wins or loses, it’s truly about the memories you make!
Anyone else attend an Opening Day?? Share your story… especially if something out of the ordinary happened!